Tuesday, April 1, 2008


What with all the overtures to the (so-called) working-class voter in Pennsylvania, the conversation on MSNBC's Hardball this afternoon turned to boilermakers. None of the four assembled talking heads seemed to know exactly what a boilermaker is.

From Merriam-Webster Online: "whiskey with a beer chaser." That's the only boilermaker I've ever heard of (or drank).

From the Oxford English Dictionary: "a shot of whisky followed immediately by (or occas. combined with) a glass of beer." Combined with? Yes.

And then there's Wikipedia, whose boilermaker entry is a headache-making catalogue of variations.

I just remembered that one of the great scenes in On the Waterfront (1954, dir. Elia Kazan) includes boilermakers. Here, courtesy of YouTube, are Marlon Brando (Terry Malloy) and Eva Marie Saint (Edie Doyle), with "two Glockenheimers and two for chasers": "Dink."

Related post
A boilermaker, sort of, in the news

comments: 4

jw said...

Even more recently, the boilermaker was prominently used in A River Runs Through It. Even I, an absolute teetotaler, know what a boilermaker is.

SaoirseDaily2 said...

I thought you dropped the full shot in the beer and then chugged.
I remember doing that way back in my past. LOL

Anonymous said...

From that Wiki:

"In an episode of Frasier, Niles and Frasier show up at their father's (Martin Crane) favorite hang out (the bar "Duke's") where the bartender attempts to serve them boilermakers. They resist at first (Niles insists on a sherry) but realize they're disappointing their father and accept the boilermakers anyway."

I love this :)

Michael Leddy said...

Rachel, thank you for reminding me (and everyone else) of that Frasier episode.